There is no consensus as to whether breeders should aim to have Labradoodles recognized as a breed. Some breeders prefer to restrict breeding to early generation dogs (i.e. bred from a Poodle and Labrador rather than from two Labradoodles) to maximise genetic diversity, to avoid the inherited health problems that have plagued some dog breeds.
Others are breeding Labradoodle to Labradoodle over successive generations, and trying to establish a new dog breed. These dogs are usually referred to as Multigenerational (Multigen) or Australian Labradoodles.
Labradoodles also differ from early generation and Multigenerational Labradoodles in that they may also have other breeds in their ancestry. English and American Cocker Spaniel/Poodle crosses (i.e. Cockapoos), Two Irish Water Spaniels and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers were used in some Australian Labradoodle lines. The Curly Coated Retriever were used too, but these lines did not work out and they were discontinued.
Labradoodle coats are divided into three categories: wool (with tight curls, and similar in appearance to that of a Poodle, but with a softer texture); fleece (soft and free-flowing, with a kinked or wavy appearance); or hair (which can be curly, straight or wavy, but is more similar in texture to a Labrador's coat). Labradoodles coat colors include chocolate, cafe, parchment, cream, gold, apricot, red, black, silver, chalk, parti colours, (i.e. generally, any color a Poodle can have). They can be different sizes, depending on the size of poodle used (i.e. toy, miniature or standard).
The Labradoodle as a dog breed is still developing, and puppies do not have consistently predictable characteristics. While many Labradoodles display desired traits, their appearance and behavioral characteristics remain, from an overall breed standpoint, unpredictable.
As such, Labradoodles' hair can be anywhere from wiry to soft, and may be straight, wavy, or curly. Many Labradoodles do shed, although the coat usually sheds less and has less dog odor than that of a Labrador Retriever.
Like most Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, Labradoodles are generally friendly, energetic and good with families and children (although as with any dog the temperament may vary between individuals). Labradoodles often display an affinity for water and strong swimming ability from their parent breeds.
Like their parent breeds, both of which are amongst the world's most intelligent dog breeds, Labradoodles are very intelligent and quite trainable, often seeking commands and finding pleasure in learning.
The first known use of the term "Labradoodle" was by Sir Donald Campbell to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross dog in his 1955 book, "Into the Water Barrier".
Conron's aim was to combine the low-shedding coat of the Poodle with the easy to train breed of the Labrador, and to provide a pet that is suitable for people with allergies to fur and dander.
Although Guide Dogs Victoria no longer breed Labradoodles, they are bred by other guide and assistance dog organizations in Australia and elsewhere.